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Coronavirus update from Somerset County Council – 20/07

Posted on 20th July, 2021 in News

All our help and information is now available in a single place on the SCC website https://www.somerset.gov.uk/latest-coronavirus-updates/

This page is refreshed through the day so please check in regularly to keep across developments and news.

Public Health dashboard: Detailed Public Health information dashboards are available on our website https://www.somerset.gov.uk/covid-19-dashboard/ These are updated daily.

Top stories today:

How to stay safe now restrictions have eased

Almost all legal coronavirus restrictions ended today. From now, guidance is emphasising personal judgement and responsibility. People are expected to consider and manage their own risk and protect themselves and others through informed choice and by exercising common sense.

Coronavirus will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it, but while cases are high and rising, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. Remember, there is a risk that you could catch or pass on the virus, even if you are fully vaccinated.

Somerset’s Public Health team is advising people to think carefully about continuing to keep the all-important two metre distance where possible.

As another measure to protect more vulnerable people, as well as workers in key services such as shops and pubs, it is recommended to continue to wear a face covering in indoor spaces such as in shops and on public transport Please also continue to wash hands thoroughly and regularly. Meet up outside rather than inside, and, if inside, make sure to let the fresh air in by opening windows and doors.
Finally, it’s important to:

  • make sure to get both doses of the vaccine,
  • self-isolate when required to do so; and,
  • use rapid tests twice a week.

Please visit the government’s website for more advice on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Frontline health and care staff can work rather than self-isolate

From today (Monday 19 July), double vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff in England who have been told to self-isolate will be allowed to attend work in exceptional circumstances.

This will include staff who have been contacted as a close contact of a case of Covid-19 by NHS Test and Trace, or advised to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app.

The measure is being introduced to ease pressure on NHS and social care services. But staff can only work after having a negative PCR test and taking daily negative lateral flow tests for a minimum of seven days, and up to 10 days or completion of the identified self-isolation period.

The Government is clear the change applies only to frontline NHS and social care staff where their absence may lead to a significant risk of harm.

The decision to allow NHS and social care staff to attend work after being told to self-isolate should be made on a case-by-case basis, and only after a risk assessment by the organisation’s management.

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Hot weather in store for a few more days

Somerset is expected to experience high temperatures for the rest of this week, according to forecasters.

Temperatures indoors can be higher than those outdoors, and this year more people than usual may be staying inside, particularly if they have to self-isolate because they, or someone they are a close contact of, tests positive for coronavirus.

Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated this weekend. Older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk.

Public Health England has published some top tips for staying safe in the heat, including staying out of the sun between 11.00am and 3.00pm when the UV rays are strongest; staying in the shade, applying sunscreen and wearing a wide brimmed hat when outdoors and closing curtains in rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler.

The NHS website has lots of advice about how to cope in hot weather.

Seeing your GP or going to hospital? Masks must be worn

Everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules.

Although COVID-19 restrictions will end in many settings in England from Monday, Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are set to remain in place for all staff and visitors.

That means NHS visitor guidance will stay in place across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Staff, patients and visitors will also be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting as well as using face coverings, masks and other personal protection equipment.

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Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus

HMRC has updated its guidance for businesses affected by Covid-19. The pack includes videos on making claims to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Companies can sign up for email alerts and register for free webinars to learn more about the support available if their business is affected by COVID-19.

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